Blood Donor Program

This group is for people interested in blood donation. Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim. There is no substitute for this lifesaving gift, so patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. Join the discussion and learn more about blood donation!

May 30, 2017

30 Gallons and Still Going Strong

By Bobsi, @barbarajpa


Every blood donor who visits our Blood Donor Center has a unique story, and many have a reason or inspiration that has sparked a desire to become a donor. Dale’s reason is simply an altruistic one—a way to help the community. Dale enjoys donating, and he promotes this life-saving act every chance he gets.

Dale first began his blood-donation journey in the early 1980s. IBM, his place of employment, advocates for blood donation and encourages its employees to give back to the community. A department blood drive started Dale on his journey, and he has been a faithful donor since that time.

In Dale’s early days of donation, he set a personal goal to donate whole blood six times per year. At that time, donors could donate whole blood every 56 days, rather than every 84 days as it stands today. (Based on new guidelines, there is a longer “waiting period” between donations for whole blood and red-cell donations because the body needs to replenish its iron.)

Donating Platelets vs. Whole Blood
After a time, Dale felt that he wanted to give more, so he set a new goal—one gallon each year, which meant he would have to donate more than the six times per year. Platelet donation was the answer for Dale, and it helped him meet his new goal, and more.

Dale now donates platelets every time, and he earns a three-gallon pin each year.

Family Affair
Dale recently encouraged one of his daughters, Chelsey, to give platelet donation a try. The appointment was strategically planned so that Dale gave his 240th donation and received his 30-gallon pin at the same time that Chelsey gave her 8th donation and earned her 1-gallon pin. A lot of blood products have been donated from this one family!


Notice the blood drops on Dale's motorcycle antennas on the back of his bike?

When Dale was asked how Chelsey feels about donating with her dad, he answered, “She was excited about facing the ‘6-inch, 12-gauge needle’ alongside her father.” (Dale, next time you come in to donate, we should discuss how big the needle REALLY is. We hear it’s MUCH smaller, and it doesn’t hurt one bit.)

Besides blood donation, Dale’s passions in life include spending time with his family, riding his Harley Davidson with his wife (the motorcycle even has blood drops on the antennas), and watching NDSU football.

Thank you, Dale, for being one of our dedicated blood donors and for sharing so much of your time with us. When you give, others live.

@barbarajpa Great story. I used to give blood very regularly, 6 times a year but then I moved and the new center just didn’t seem able to successful in drawing my blood so I stopped. I wonder if at my age I can still donate blood, I will look into that.

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